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Rolken

Looking for the right tools

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For a year or so I've been vaguely contemplating the notion of doing a game, but each time I look into it the obstacles to just getting started end up turning me off. So here I am. I have experience with general application and web programming, but the only game-related stuff I've done is some assembly calculator amusement during high school. My objective is to make a 2D platformer-style game. Artistry isn't my strong point, so I'm shooting for a LocoRoco-like cartoony style. My problem is that I have no idea how to achieve that. I assume there's some approach that beats starting from scratch with OpenGL and making up my own data formats and coding my own editors, but after many hours of searching I feel I am no closer to finding it. The vast majority of tools seem geared towards either 3D production or sprite-based 2D, with little in the way of non-sprite 2D production, though perhaps I am wrong in writing off 3D so quickly. I've looked into things like Amanith and ImageMagick, but everything I try seems either ill-equipped or oddly slow and universally difficult to just get to compile. I thought SVG might make a good data format, but I fail to find decent tools to surround it with. Any kind of direction would be appreciated. I intended to use C++, but whatever does the job best is fine by me. I just want to get past spinning my wheels hoping for traction.

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For good vector game development, Flash probably the way to go. It has a good development interface, and it's also backed up by open source compilers and tools.

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The thing that bothers me about Flash is that anecdotally SNES-Genesis level graphics regularly get 20-30fps on my 2005 laptop in a tiny browser window, so I imagine running at fullscreen would grind up a CPU. It's worrying that Bob's Retro Flash Adventure is outperformed by the likes of Morrowind. I'll give it a shot though; I hadn't even heard of any open-source tools.

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i would say start off with C# and XNA. C# in itself is a really easy and robust language with the help of .NET 2.0. Then with XNA you open up a template and you already have a window showing. I am currently learning C# with XNA and it going pretty well.

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